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St Peter's
Catholic School


Mrs N Shearer-Freyne

Head of English

The Team
Mrs A Brown Joint Assistant Head of English
Miss S Conway Teacher of English
Mr S Crome Teacher of English and Deputy Headteacher
Mrs E Fraser Teacher of English and Coaching Lead
Mrs S Hegg Teacher of English and Head of Year 11
Mrs C Johnson Teacher of English and ECT and ITT Lead
Mrs K Steady Teacher of English and Head of Year 12
Mr E Martin Teacher of English and IAG and EPQ Co-ordinator
Mrs H Occomore Joint Assistant Head of English
Introduction to the Department

At St Peter’s, in the English Department, we strive to ensure our students are: resilient, inquisitive, motivated, lifelong learners.  Our curriculum is broad, diverse, offering a gateway to success through texts that engage, inspire and challenge our students. The students will develop the skills of empathy, critical thinking and reflection through the exploration of a range of fiction and nonfiction texts. Central to our ethos is inspiring a love of reading and appreciation of the beauty of human experience. Students will have the power to decipher the written word, evaluating the context and the cultural landscape they encounter. Students will develop their writing in a creative, purposeful and fluent way, selecting effective vocabulary. Through the curriculum students will learn to develop their own opinion, question and challenge perceptions. Our vision is to inspire our students to be confident in their spoken communication; to be skilled, attentive readers and to be critical, evaluative writers. 

Key Stage 3 information

Our English mastery curriculum is structured to develop students’ skills across both disciplines of reading and writing, reflecting core skills that are required for both GCSEs. Our reading curriculum is designed to develop analysis and evaluation skills, increasing the depth of perception whilst fostering a love of reading. Our writing curriculum is designed to develop creativity and accuracy of communication, ensuring our students are preparing for their academic and wider futures. Throughout KS3, reading and writing units are alternated to allow students to draw connections between a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, which further enhances their own writing.  

Year 7 – Analysis of texts (Reading) and Communication with accuracy (Writing) 

In Year 7, we begin with creative writing to enable students to build on their imaginative story writing and focus on their spelling, punctuation and grammar accuracy. Over the year, students will continue to build their communication and descriptive writing skills through our gothic writing unit and through studying the autobiographical form with the abridged version of Michelle Obama’s Becoming. In terms of reading, students will cover a range of time periods and genres. Students will develop their textual analysis skills, reading the following texts: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls and a collection of poetry and extracts from Shakespeare.  

Year 8 – Evaluation (Reading) and Persuasion (Writing) 

In Year 8, we develop students’ creative writing through considering effective structuring and character creation in our crime fiction unit. We also introduce writing to persuade, inform and entertain in our travel writing unit, which are further enhanced during our WW1 perspectives unit. Students learn to examine and evaluate different perspectives when reading our texts, which include Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy and Phillip Pullman's playscript adaptation of Frankenstein. For the first time, students will also explore a full Shakespeare text, analysing Much Ado About Nothing.  

Year 9 – Connections (Reading) and Cohesion (Writing) 

In Year 9, students learn to explore changes and issues in society and incorporate complex ideas cohesively into their own writing to manipulate a reader’s reaction. This is embedded within our dystopian writing and our news writing unit, which mirrors the assessment objectives demanded of GCSE candidates in English Language. Similarly, we prepare students for their English Literature GCSE with perceptive, in-depth analysis of the following challenging texts: Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls. These text choices allow students to make connections between the themes and concepts they have already encountered, and the texts that they will encounter at GCSE. As a transition unit at the end of Year 9, we explore and evaluate a variety of non-fiction texts, whilst connecting these to their enhanced ability to persuade, inform and entertain in their own writing.  

Key Stage 4 Information

In Years 10 and 11, for the external examinations, the Pearson Edexcel GCSE is followed in both English Language and English Literature. We give our students the confidence to use literacy skills, knowledge and understanding to succeed not only in their examinations but also as a foundation for further academic study. 

For English Language, the students experience a broad range of 19th century fiction and 20th century non-fiction texts. They have the opportunity to write creatively as well as learning the key skills needed for transactional writing.  In English Literature, students study a range of prose, poetry and drama, ranging from classic to contemporary.

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9–1) English Language 2.0 consists of two externally examined papers and one endorsement for Spoken Language.

Paper 1: Non-Fiction Texts, focuses on the study and analysis of a wide range of 19th century non-fiction texts such as newspaper and magazine articles and reviews, instructional texts, speeches, journals, and reference book extracts. In Section B of the paper students explore and develop transactional writing skills, in the form of letters, articles, reports, speeches, reviews, formal emails or blogs.

Paper 2: Contemporary Texts, focuses on the study and analysis of a wide range of prose fiction and literary non-fiction, such as novels, autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, letters, speeches, and travel writing. In Section B of the paper students explore and develop imaginative writing skills.

The Spoken Language Endorsement: Students must demonstrate their presentation skills in a formal setting, listen and respond to questions and feedback, and use spoken English effectively.

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) in English Literature consists of two externally examined papers.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and Post 1914 Literature focuses on the study of a Shakespeare play and a post 1914 British novel. Students will develop skills to analyse how the language, form, structure and context of texts can create meanings and effects. As well as develop skills to maintain a critical style and informed personal response.

Paper 2: 19th Century Novel and Poetry since 1789 focuses on the study of a 19th century novel and poetry since 1789. Students will develop skills to analyse how the language, form, structure and context of texts can create meanings and effects; develop skills to maintain a critical style and informed personal response and develop comparison skills.

Enrichment Opportunities

Within the department, we offer many enrichment opportunities. We offer a series of educational workshops focussed on the texts the students are studying to enhance their learning. The English Department encourage students to take part in short-story and poetry competitions throughout the year. The Sixth Formers lead a regular Book Club exploring a range of classic and modern texts. The public speaking club has had great success and students are entered for many competitions throughout the year.